Members of the 2019 class of the Latino Leadership Academy in a group photo with Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J.

Washington – When Paola Esparra left Dorado, Puerto Rico for New Britain a little more than a year ago, she thought she was fleeing her hurricane-wrecked homeland for an education in accounting at Central Connecticut State University.

Now her horizons have expanded and Esparra, 22, is considering a future in politics.

“It once was not an option for me, Esparra said. “Now it’s an option.”

She is one of 20 members of the third graduating class of the Latino Leadership Academy who are putting finishing touches on their political education in Washington D.C. this week.

The academy is the brainchild of Sen. Chris Murphy and

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